Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) unveiled his picks on Tuesday for the brand new Choose Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic: Republicans who’ve unfold harmful misinformation about COVID-19, in contrast sporting face masks to the Holocaust, and steered that the omicron variant of the lethal virus was a Democratic hoax.
“The 118th Congress marks a new beginning for this institution,” McCarthy declared in an announcement asserting his selections for this subcommittee. “Republicans’ governing agenda will be based on transparency, accountability, and solutions.”
He’s not unsuitable that it’s a brand new starting: It’s a contemporary infusion of bonkers atop the Home panel charged with conducting oversight of the federal government’s response to the COVID pandemic. The subcommittee was all the time destined to be extra actuality TV than legit policymaking; McCarthy handed out numerous high-profile committee seats to extremists to safe their votes for his speakership. However on this case, his appointments are simply laughable.
His picks for the coronavirus panel embody Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who was routinely kicked off of Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation to a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals in violation of the corporate’s coverage on the time.
Greene was suspended in July 2021 when she claimed COVID-19 wasn’t harmful until you have been overweight or over the age of 65. She was suspended again a month later when she falsely posted that COVID vaccines have been “failing.” She was permanently banned in January 2022 after falsely tweeting about “extremely high amounts of Covid vaccine deaths.” (Twitter reinstated her account in November 2022 after Elon Musk took over the positioning.)
Greene additionally in contrast being required to put on a masks on the Home ground to the Holocaust.
“You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” she said in May 2021. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
The Georgia firebrand’s feedback got here at a time within the pandemic when greater than 100 Home Republicans refused to say if they were vaccinated, which prompted then-Speaker Pelosi to maintain a masks mandate in place for the Home ground.
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a former doctor to presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, was additionally tapped for the Home coronavirus panel. In November 2021, he claimed the omicron variant of COVID was a Democratic hoax to justify new mail-in poll guidelines — a model of a right-wing conspiracy idea that President Joe Biden and public well being officers have been taking motion on COVID completely to spice up Democrats’ electoral prospects.
“Here comes the MEV — the Midterm Election Variant! They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots,” Jackson tweeted, referring to omicron. “Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election — but we’re not going to let them!”
In July 2020, within the early and most dangerous interval of the pandemic, Jackson referred to as sporting a masks “a personal choice.” His feedback on the time not solely contradicted common steering from public well being consultants however even undermined one other Texas Republican, Gov. Greg Abbott, who had mandated that almost all state residents put on a masks.
A staunch Trump ally, Jackson tweeted Tuesday that he can’t wait to get to work on the brand new subcommittee, the place “Every LIE that was used to LOCK YOU DOWN will be unearthed.”
McCarthy’s different GOP picks for the COVID subcommittee embody Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa), who spread false information in regards to the CDC planning to mandate COVID vaccines for kids and about kids not being affected by COVID; Rep. Michael Cloud (Texas), who in March 2020 voted against the Households First COVID Response Act, which offered emergency funding free of charge COVID testing and paid go away for staff hit by the pandemic; Rep. John Joyce (Pa.), who filed a bill to dam the federal government from issuing standardized COVID vaccine standing playing cards; and Rep. Wealthy McCormick (Ga.), an ER doctor who spread misinformation about masks and COVID vaccines.
The excellent news in regards to the new subcommittee, by way of any GOP members having credibility, is that solely a few of them voted to throw out the results of the 2020 presidential election based mostly on the identical lie that fueled an tried coup on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Of the 9 Republicans tapped for this panel, six tried to forestall the peaceable switch of presidential energy that day: Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.), Debbie Lesko (Ariz.), Cloud, Joyce, Greene and Jackson.
The opposite three GOP members of the committee are Miller-Meeks, McCormick and Chairman Brad Wenstrup (Ohio).